A brief report was given soon after the event on 2 June but there is much more to it. A regular event for me with 8 miles cycling from Northampton rail station. Part of the East Midlands (or rather south-east) Grand Prix series (5 of 8 events for a final position), the participants were almost exclusively club runners, meeting up in club formation prior to the start. I met up with Bob Simpson (no relation) of the VC&AC and knowing that it is a tough course decided to line up with Bob (no disrespect) towards the rear.
Not surprisingly my start was a bit slow but I soon began to overtake during the easier part of the course which was to last until 4K when we were confronted with the long tough climb. It was only when I reached the top that I began to overtake again including some familiar runners which gave me a little more confidence. From that point onwards I was running in competitive mode and enjoying the course which was slightly downhill from 6 to 7K followed by a sharp dip before a further testing climb to probably the highest point around 8K. At about 8.5K the infamous long and steep descent began which anyone with weak knees would dread.
Despite running at my fastest, my position was mostly unchanged and towards the end even lost a couple of places. After such a long downhill period, it is a shock to the body to suddenly be asked to climb again albeit fairly short. Did manage to claw back one place here and chased to the line one of the competitors who overtook me on the long descent. There was no obvious finish line apart from the funnel and with the runner ahead slowing, my momentum overtook him only to be abruptly stopped by an official hitting my chest with his open hand, ensuring that I finished behind him.
It was a humid evening but I hardly noticed it until recovering at the finish drinks station. I thought I had run a good time and it was only later that I was slightly disappointed with the 43.33 due I guess to starting further back.